On this day...Dmitry Pirog stopped Daniel Jacobs

It seems like a formality as the WBO vacant middleweight title was on the line on this day, July 31, 2010, pitting the unknown Dmitry Pirog, against top prospect Daniel Jacobs.

The bout served as the co-main event for Juan Manuel Marquez vs Juan 'Baby Bull' Diaz II, a rematch of their classic first encounter. 

Pirog spent the week complaining about the food in the United States, but within moments of the fight won over famed Kronk boxing trainer, Emanuel Steward, who was part of the HBO Boxing telecast. Steward compared Pirog to 'Sugar' Ray Leonard in the early rounds and was surprised by his gifts in the ring.

Daniel Jacobs had the backing of prominent manager Al Haymon, who was emerging as a power broker in the sport of boxing and was promoted by Golden Boy Promotions. None of this matters, as Pirog took the judges out of the fight stopping Jacobs in the fifth round of the fight. 

The belt was left vacant when WBO decided to strip Sergio Martinez of the WBO middleweight title which left Martinez and his team frustrated. At the time of the stoppage, Jacobs was ahead on all three judges' scorecards with a score of 39-37. 

This would be the final triumph of Pirog's career as he was set to face Gennadiy Golovkin for Golovkin's HBO debut until being forced to withdraw from the fight. His decision to fight Golovkin and not his WBO mandatory opponent, Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam, also saw him get stripped of his WBO middleweight world title. Pirog had a back injury that he could never shake and seemingly retired far too soon. In 2017, Pirog became a politician and has been sanctioned by the British government and the U.S. Treasury, over the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Jacobs, would find out he had cancer after this fight and fend it off, and make a successful return to the ring. He would hold both the WBA and IBF middleweight world titles upon his return and would face Gennadiy Golovkin on pay-per-view in a very close fight that Golovkin won, but is still debated to this day.